Beechies Advert Glamorises the Exploitation of Women

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The latest Beechies (chewing gum) TV advert broadcast reportedly between 8:00 and 9:30pm at night on SABC channels and E.TV depicts a group of young adult males visiting a strip joint during a night of debauchery. One of the strippers turns out to be the girlfriend of the male narrating the story.

The punch line of the advert says "some things are too good not to share".

Are Beechies saying that women should be shared like a story or worse, like a piece of gum?!

Not only is this advert glamorising drunken debauchery, but it is condoning an industry that promotes sexual immorality and the objectification and exploitation of women. Most strip joints are fronts for brothels and many enslave women and are involved in trafficking.

Modern-Day Slavery
The extent to which strip joints are nothing short of modern-day slavery came out in a recent Constitutional Court Case:

Tatiana Malachi, a young woman from Moldova, arrived in South Africa in 2009, to work as an exotic dancer in a strip joint called the House of Rasputin, in Cape Town. Prior to arriving in South Africa, Malachi signed an agreement with an agent in Moldova. In terms of this, Rasputin agreed to pay for Malachi's travel expenses and to provide her with accommodation, but Malachi agreed to repay all the amounts laid out by Rasputin. When Malachi arrived in Cape Town, she was told by the owner, Mark Kozhanov, that he needed her passport for 30 days, supposedly for registration with the authorities. But the passport wasn't retuned and when Malachi, who was unhappy in her job, began asking questions, Kozhanov told her she could have it back if he paid him $2, 000 for her air ticket and a further R20 000 "levy". Malachi couldn't afford either and was threatened with violence. In desperation Malachi contacted the Russian Consul, who helped her buy an air ticket to return to Moldova. Rasputin got wind of what was going on and she was arrested and locked in Pollsmoor prison for not repaying her debt. Again with the help of the Russian Consul, Malachi brought an urgent application to the Cape High Court. The judge referred his order to the Constitutional Court and ruled the procedure where a fleeing debtor can be arrested, unconstitutional. Malachi apparently did return safely to Moldova. (Noseweek, December 2010).

What You Can Do:

  • Post a comment on the Beechies Facebook page here.
  • Complain to the Advertising Standards Authority: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , fax: 011 - 781 1547, tel: 011 - 781 2006.

Remember to include your name, address and ID number.

Key clauses in the Advertising Code to mention are:

  • Clause 1.2 of Section 1 - Responsibility to the consumer
  • Clause 1 of Section 2 - Offensive advertising
  • Clause 3.5 of Section 2 - States that gender stereotyping or negative portrayal is not permitted unless reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society.
  • Clause 14 of Section 2 - Children
  • Section 4.19 of Section1 defines gender stereotyping as "advertising that portrays a person or persons of a certain gender in a manner that exploits, objectifies or demeans".

This advert has also been broadcast frequently between 8:00 and 9:00pm which is before the "watershed" time. According to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission, programmes (and this should surely include advertising) unsuitable for children may not be broadcast before 9:00pm.

"Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." Ephesians 5:11

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa info@christianaction.org.za - 021-689-4481 - www.christianaction.org.za
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